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Research published by the Annals American Thoracic Society states that the ill effects of air pollution may cause many people to lose sleep.
Researchers have found that people living in regions with high air pollution are likely to face sleep problems compared to those living in areas with less air pollution.
Low quality and lack of sleep have adverse effects on humans. It increases the chances of accidents and also makes them moody. If this becomes a habit, then it can be harmful to your health. People not having adequate sleep are more likely to suffer from cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
How Air Pollution Affects your Airways
Poor air quality could affect your upper airways and also increase the chances of sleep apnea. Dr. Ryan Donald, sleep medicine expert at The Ohio State University, said that they need to research more to conclude if poor air quality and sleep are interconnected.
There are many reasons for sleep apnea. Air pollution causes congestion in upper airway but things like mold, dust, and pollen can cause allergies and increase the chances of sleep apnea.
A study has found the association of air pollution and sleep but not a cause-effect relationship. Dr. Martha E. Billings professor of Medicine at the University of Washington stated that there is no direct relationship between air pollution and sleep, but yes, pollution causes people not to have a sound sleep. It makes them toss and turn while they are asleep.
Billings said that more studies are required to understand the direct link between air quality and sleep.
Air Pollution and Mood
Adverse air pollution also affects your mood. A research published a few months back on people’s happiness pointed out that people living in more polluted areas are less happier.
Researcher Siqi Zheng of MIT China Future City Lab stated that pollution has an emotional effect as well. Pollution makes people unhappy and makes them take irrational decisions. Researchers also noticed that people who do not like to live in air polluted areas, move to clean cities, and are likely to experience mood swings when they live in more polluted areas.
Also, people living in cities with adverse air pollution are aware of and worried about their adverse health effects.
Air Pollution and Health Problems
Air pollution has a direct link to increased chances of respiratory problems like asthma and lung cancer. Studies have shown a relation between air pollution and many health problems.
A study published in 2017 by the researchers of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, stated that every additional 10 micrograms of PM 2.5/cubic meter of air increased the chances of cancer by 22% in seniors.
Another research stated that there are increased chances of premature birth if the pregnant woman is breathing highly polluted air. Other research stated that air pollution particles in the human brain could lead to dementia.
Indoor Air Quality and Sleep
Indoor air pollution could be more harmful than outdoor air. The outdoor air is around 4 to 5 times less polluted than the air indoors.
People are becoming more careful about what they eat and drink but airborne chemicals enter your body easily. One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is by having more organic options at home.
One of the common airborne chemicals in our houses are toxic gases like Volatile Organic Compounds and PBDEs. It is next to impossible to find a house to stay in the United States that does not have any airborne chemicals present.
VOCs are found in homes in different forms like paints, hobby supplies, dry cleaned clothes, aerosol spray, air fresheners etc.
Your bedroom is the place where you could avoid toxic chemicals. Converting your bedroom into a healthy retreat can be a positive impact on your health and your children. Clean air helps you have a good night’s sleep and is significant for overall health.
Quality Air Purifier
Investing in a quality air purifier is the best thing that you can do to improve air quality. It is almost impossible to limit the toxins and pollution but an air purifier can help you breathe cleaner air.
You should look for an air purifier that is tried and tested by the users. Go for the one that removes more than 99% of airborne contaminants that are larger than 0.3 microns.
Also, choose the purifier that eliminates more than 2500 toxic gases and odors that surround you like ammonia, benzene, cooking odor, dry cleaning odor etc.
I recently reviewed the Molekule Air Purifier that will eliminate VOCs and goes beyond what a standard HEPA filter can do. I highly recommend it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Air Quality Affect Sleep?
The air pollution could affect the quality of your sleep. The researchers have focused on two parts – sleep quality and sleep efficiency. This is measured as the total number of hours you sleep and the times you wake up after falling asleep.
Can Air Pollution Make You Feel Tired?
The pollutants in the air cause an increase in fatigue. If you feel tired often, you should take some time off from working in poor air quality areas. One of the common symptoms of poor air quality is headache.
How Does Poor Air Quality Affect Health?
Long term exposure to poor air quality can lead to many health issues like:
- Development of chronic respiratory diseases
- A decrease in lung function
- Respiratory issues like irritation of airways, difficulty in breathing and coughing.
Do Air Purifiers Help You Sleep Better?
Yes, air purifiers improve your sleep. They purify the air by trapping more than 99% of up to 0.3-micron airborne allergens like pet hair, molds, bacteria, dust and dust mites. These are the elements that wake you up in the middle of the sleep. Thus, air purifiers help you sleep better.
We hope to have helped you give a basic idea of how poor air quality may be affecting your sleep. Investing in a quality air purifier is the only solution so far.